Japan Airlines A350 engulfed in flames at Tokyo Haneda

A Japan Airlines Airbus A350 was engulfed in flames as it landed at Tokyo/Haneda on Tuesday, January 2.

Images circulating on social media and national broadcaster NHK show the A350-900, believed to be JA13XJ (c/n 538), becoming consumed by fire shortly after landing at the Japanese hub at around 5.47pm local time (0847 UTC) on January 2.

The aircraft thought to be involved is JA13XJ, an A350-900.
The aircraft thought to be involved is JA13XJ, an A350-900. Aviation Image Network/Simon Gregory

According to reports from NHK, the widebody is thought to have collided with a Japanese coast guard aircraft.

Dramatic video shows the aircraft resting on its nose being consumed by fire. All 367 passengers are reported to have been able to evacuate to safety.

The jet was operating JAL516, a flight connecting Sapporo/New Chitose with Haneda.

JA13XJ is a two-year-old example that was delivered to the flag carrier in November 2021. Powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines, the aircraft is configured to seat 369 passengers in a three-class layout.

The incident comes as Japan deals with the fallout from a 7.6-magnitude earthquake which struck the country on New Year’s Day. It has since emerged the Coast Guard aircraft involved was delivering aid to the affected region. 

 

1525HRS UPDATE: In the wake of the incident, Airbus released the following statement: 

"Airbus regrets to confirm that an A350-900 operated by Japan Airlines was involved in an accident during flight JAL516 from Sapporo New Chitose Airport to Haneda International Airport shortly after 17:47 (local time) on 02 January 2024. All 367 passengers and 12 crew members on-board evacuated the aircraft.

The A350 collided with a DHC-8 aircraft at landing in Haneda. The Japanese authorities have since confirmed that sadly five of the six people on board the DHC-8 did not survive. The exact circumstances of the event are still unknown.

The aircraft involved in the accident, registered under the number JA13XJ, was MSN 538, delivered to Japan Airlines from the production line on 10 November 2021. It was powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.

In line with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex 13 recommendations, Airbus will provide technical assistance to the Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses (BEA) of France and to the Japan Transport Safety Board (JTSB) in charge of the investigation. For this purpose, Airbus is presently dispatching a team of specialists to assist the Authorities.

Further updates will be provided as soon as consolidated information is available and Airbus is authorised to release them.

Our concerns and sympathy go to the families, friends and loved ones affected by the accident."

 

This is a breaking story and we’ll provide updates when we get them.